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Three Thornton Wilder Plays Performed at Dowd

12/02/2009 

The Performing Arts Department will present three classic American one-act plays Dec. 10- 13 in a 90-minute program titled "'The Long Christmas Dinner' and Other Short Plays By Thornton Wilder."

The three comedy-dramas will be performed by an all-student cast in the Dowd Fine Arts Center Lab Theatre. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, Friday, Dec. 11 and Saturday, Dec. 12, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13. Tickets are $12 for the general public, $10 for senior citizens and SUNY staff and $5 for students and children. Tickets will be on sale at the door only. This production is partially funded by the Cortland Fund and the Cortland College Foundation.

"The Long Christmas Dinner" is about one American family as seen over 90 years through glimpses of them at Christmas dinners. The second one-act play by Wilder, "The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden," is about an automobile ride in 1928 in which a New Jersey family travels to visit a relative. The program ends with "Pullman Car Hiawatha," a somewhat fantastical play about life and death as seen through the passengers traveling on a train in 1930.

All three plays were written in the early 1930s and can be viewed as experimental pieces in which Wilder was preparing to write his masterpiece, "Our Town." As with that famous play, the three one-act plays are presented on a bare stage with no scenery or props.

The plays are directed by Thomas Hischak, Performing Arts Department, and will be staged in the round. For more information about this production and other events, visit the Performing Arts Department Web site.